Handmade Birthday

Double wrap watch, password journal and handmade card.

Double wrap leather band watch, password journal and handmade card.

The package containing these gifts arrived in New Hampshire today. I sent them off to my sis-in-law Kris for her birthday, admittedly a little late, but I hope she thinks they’re worth the wait.

Kris commented on a similar watched she liked in a catalog a few months ago. Bingo! Perfect birthday gift! Bingo! Challenge for me to re-create it from scratch. I just love a challenge.

Sometimes my challenges are like a comedy of errors. I go out and buy the supplies I think I need only to get home and realize they’re too big, too small, not the right color. Such was this challenge.

I thought I was on it. I sprinted off to the leather store and found leather strap (already cut!), got a new leather punch (smaller holes!) and a buckle (perfect size for the leather!). Off to another store for the watch face. Not what I was planning exactly, but it looked good. Home to the studio, ready to work.

And I’m off…

Except the buckle is reversed so it curves in and would irritate the wearer’s wrist. I have not idea what this kind of buckle is used for, but I am now the proud owner of one. It will sit in my sewing draw until it finds its calling among my creations.

I didn’t want wait a few days and spend the $10 on shipping to get a $5 buckle. I also didn’t want to drive the 40 miles round trip back to the store to search through all the buckles again (that would cost me $10 in gas!). I refrained from cutting the buckles off my daughter’s perfectly good shoes, though I seriously, seriously considered it. Kris’s daughter would have suffered because she gets all her cousin’s hand-me-downs.

Instead I used my crafty prowess (which I should have consulted in the first place) and traveled the 1.3 miles to the crafter’s mecca of supplies: the thrift store. I bought an old pair of shoes and cut the buckles off to complete the watch.


The present also included a card I made during a girls weekend excursion and one of my newer brainchilds (brainchildren?), a password journal (more on that in another post). Happy birthday, Kris!

When Tradition Meets Technology

When technology meets tradition, you get…

a beaded, fringed leather pouch that holds…

….an iPhone.

Not kidding.

This weekend at the powwow an elderly gentleman asked me to stitch these arrowheads on to the leather pouch. He’d found the arrowheads in Arizona 20 years ago. He never knew what to do with them.

A few weeks ago he purchased this leather bag, which hangs around his neck. He now knew what to do with the arrowheads–add them to his pouch.

Jim loading his iPhone into his newly embellished bag.

Jim loading his iPhone into his newly embellished bag.

At powwows, bags hung around people’s necks are called medicine bags. People keep their “good medicine” in there: lucky charms, special beads, a chard of pottery, a feather, a note from a loved one. I expected him to extract a handful of trinkets from his bag, but instead, he pulled out an iPhone.

For a guy 2 or 3 times my age, he has much more high-tech “medicine” than I do.

This is why I continue to demonstrate at this powwow: You never know what interesting soul you’ll meet who will tickle your funny bone or turn your convictions on their head.

In the weeks to come I will still chuckle when I think of those arrowheads, which could be hundreds, even thousands of years old, protecting, of all things, an iPhone.